Reducing implicit bias errors in police decision making, particularly in time-sensitive incidents

New Zealand
United Kingdom
Public Service
Reducing implicit bias errors in police decision making, particularly in time-sensitive incidents featured image
Conclusions and REcommendations: Many of the strategies discussed in this report are already undertaken by Australian law enforcement agencies. however, these strategies tend to be siloed between different business areas or are the initiatives of motivated individual officers. Establishing an overarching strategic direction for these initiatives could compound their effect. Particularly if the implementaiton is facilitated through a multi-agency plan incorporating subject matter experts from areas including: criminal justice, health, eeducation and social services. To improve the context in which police make rapid decisions, the following recommendsations should be considered. Develop a multi-agency plan. Map out all initiatives currently delivered by Australian law enforcement agencies and relevant stakeholders, identify gaps and establish a roadmap. Systematically collect, anayse an duse information to evaluate what works. Commit to diverse policy and procedure making teams. Lack of diversity in the teams producing policy and procedure decisions results in decisions that may not accurately consider the unique circumstances of differing groups of Australians. Consider the effect of bias in current and future policy an dprocedure. Implement sentinel event review and root cause analysis to highlight and subsequently change erroneous policies and procedures. DEliver training that teaches the concepts of implicit bias and the tactics to reduce those biases. Information about bias must be presented in a non-judgemental way. Content must be focused on locally relevant examples. Training should be particularised for executive level members, police members and support staff including dispatchers. Training shold be delivered traditionally in small heterogeneous training groups, and not via eLearning. Develop a strategy to impart an understanding of how the history of past harms affect the present. Acknowledge past an dpresent harms and engage those who have been harmed to contribute to policy and procedure going forward. Equip officers with thorough information and adequate technology. Provide police officers the opportunity for prosocial interaction with outgroup members. Keywords: Police, decision making, implicit bias, procedural justice, contact theory, reconciliation, police tactics, history of police, police culture, police policy


Courtney Brown

Courtney Brown


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